United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has advised National Security Council (NSC) not to suspend the funding of the World Health Organization (WHO) sanctioned programs fighting polio and the coronavirus in 7 countries including Pakistan.
Earlier this month, President Trump announced to suspend WHO’s annual funding of $400 million after a series of allegations, accusing it of covering up the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Pompeo’s recommendation underscores the role WHO has played in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Turkey in tackling polio and COVID-19 at the same time, despite drawing harsh criticism from Donald Trump.
Where Pakistan and Afghanistan are concerned, WHO programs are combating both polio and the coronavirus pandemic. WHO had started the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) in Pakistan during the 1970s to eradicate 6 preventable diseases including polio.
WHO is working on containing the spread of the virus in the remaining 5 countries. For instance, in Turkey, the organization is assisting refugees and migrants as well as ensuring the frontline healthcare workers are provided with necessary protective gear during the pandemic.